Executive Director Job Opportunity

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Location: North Central Washington

Interviewing will begin in May; start date is flexible.

Annual salary range: $100,000 - $115,000+

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust seeks an experienced, committed and visionary Executive Director who will build on our organizational success as a conservation leader in North Central Washington.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) is a trusted and proven non-profit rooted in a thriving community and is beginning an exciting new chapter of growth. Our approach to land conservation, open space planning, and careful stewardship is innovative and successful. We have significant influence in our region as a highly valued contributor to increasingly complex and impactful conservation projects and we have built powerful partnerships with elected officials, local businesses, tribal leaders, and a growing membership of supporters and donors.

The next Executive Director of the CDLT will continue our legacy of success – leading our staff and board in pursuing our strategic goals, growing our organization in a sustainable way, and engaging current and new partners. We seek candidates who have excellent strategic planning and operational skills, proven senior management experience, and a deep and demonstrated commitment to conservation.

Read on to learn more about this exciting leadership opportunity to make a lasting impact on the landscape of our region. 

About the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust

A local organization preserving the best of Chelan and Douglas Counties

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) works cooperatively with private landowners and local communities to ensure that we will be able to enjoy the benefit of the lands and waters we all love for years to come. Our work includes land protection projectsstewardship of our preserve portfolio, public access, and landowner services. Our approach is successful because it is collaborative, voluntary, and incentive-based. 

Our Focus 

Healthy Habitat: Clean, abundant water and healthy habitat are vital for fish, wildlife and people. Our focus is to permanently protect the natural functions and scenic beauty of our region's highest priority rivers, streams and natural areas.

Quality of Life: A healthy, attractive environment strengthens our economy and improves our quality of life. Good planning now can harmonize conservation, recreation and development, and preserve our region's special places for future generations.

Connecting People to Nature: Trails, paths and natural areas close to where we live connect us to our landscape. Providing appropriate public access to natural areas close to home helps the next generation develop a strong land ethic and a culture of conservation.

Our Guiding Principles

The CDLT is a values-based organization. Through our strategic planning, we revisit, reevaluate, and continue to refine our guiding principles that are rooted in our values. We recently undertook this exercise and broadened the scope of these principles in a way that further commits us to doing good work in our community and our landscape, and reflects the changes we see in our society and our natural systems. We’re excited for you to read them in full here

Our Geography and People

The CDLT is grounded in North Central Washington, and we are grateful to live, work, and play in a beautiful and diverse landscape. Our organization and our communities still thrive on vibrant local support, even as our region becomes an increasingly attractive destination. The Land Trust values our staff and their quality of life and we have built an organizational culture that is supportive, close-knit, and comfortable; we share a genuine camaraderie that is truly a highlight of working for the organization. Because of the passion, creativity, and devotion of both our staff and board, our organization consistently succeeds beyond expectations with great integrity, and is a respected and trusted leader in our region.

Our Commitment to Equity 

The staff and board of the CDLT are committed to principles of integrity, equity, and inclusion in our business and our work - with landowners, community partners, staff, donors, funders, and volunteers. We recognize that the well-being of nature and people cannot be separated, and that the history of the human connection to land cannot be ignored. We acknowledge that Indigenous people have been the stewards of the land, water, plants, and animals of this region since time immemorial. To learn more about the specific work we’re doing to live up to our commitment to equity, please read more here

Executive Director Opportunities & Responsibilities

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is a financially secure organization that is highly respected in both the local community and across the Pacific Northwest. The incoming Executive Director will find open doors and a seat at many tables to influence and lead on decisions about the future of conservation work, open space and land use planning across the region. 

Strategic Opportunities

With the retirement of the current and highly successful Executive Director, the new Executive Director will head an organization with a significantly increased portfolio of preserves to steward, a pipeline of important projects, a professional staff that has grown substantially in the last 8 years, and an engaged Board of Directors evolving its governance structure. 

The next chapter of the organization’s life, guided by an ambitious 2022 - 2026 Strategic Plan, will offer the next leader the opportunity to make a significant impact on the region - focused on opportunities that:

  • Expand land conservation efforts
  • Enhance stewardship and public access to preserves
  • Contribute to climate resilience
  • Incorporate priorities from Indigenous peoples and underserved communities 

Essential Responsibilities

The Executive Director is responsible for management of every aspect of the organization’s operations and growth. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors, manages 5 direct reports, and oversees a total staff team of 16.  Essential responsibilities include: 

Strategic Management and Direction: In collaboration with the Board of Directors, develop the vision and strategies of the CDLT and lead the staff team in the implementation of those strategies and development of action plans. Evolve and grow strategies as needed to increase mission impact. 

Organizational Management: Provide overall leadership for the daily operations of the organization including budgeting, financial management and reporting, facilities management, hiring, coaching, mentoring, and developing staff. Facilitate a good working relationship and ensure clear communication and coordination between the Board and the staff. 

Community Engagement: Lead membership growth, resource development, and advocacy on behalf of the organization, with a commitment to becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. Work with elected officials across the political spectrum, as well as agency leaders, policy makers, and funders. Effectively communicate the mission and goals of the organization to a diverse audience, maintain and develop new partnerships at local and state levels, build coalitions and mobilize financial, community, and political support to accomplish the CDLT’s objectives.

Fundraising and Donor Engagement: In coordination with the Director of Philanthropy and the Board, personally cultivate relationships with individual donors, members, and other funding partners. Actively solicit support for the organization. Creatively connect with new or prospective donors and support membership growth to ensure sustainable revenue streams. 

Our Ideal Executive Director

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust seeks candidates who have a deep commitment to conservation and are passionate about our vision, mission and guiding principles.  

While we don’t expect our next Executive Director to be an expert in everything, we seek an exceptional leader with a diversity of skills and experience across the following qualifications: 

Land conservation experience: The successful candidate will bring a history of being engaged in land conservation at one or more levels of the conservation process and be able to use a climate resiliency and an equity lens to inform organizational decisions. 

Proven senior management experience. The ideal candidate will be a proven manager of people and teams, bringing a minimum of five years of people management experience with a particular focus on supporting senior managers and directors, engaging them as thought partners in building a healthy and collaborative organizational work culture. We seek candidates whose natural leadership style is empowering, flexible and “open door”, and who approach supporting staff growth through mentoring, coaching, and professional development. 

Exceptional partnership skills. The ideal candidate will be an exceptional leader who can build strong relationships inside and outside the organization, foster collaboration, and galvanize staff and partners around common goals.  Familiarity working in partnership with a diversity of conservation-focused stakeholders (e.g. natural resource agencies, governmental bodies, institutional funders, and other conservation organizations) is highly desirable. A solid working knowledge of policy advocacy at the state and local level will be important in this role.  

Experience building nonprofit organizational capacity. The successful candidate will have experience building nonprofit organizational capacity - including assessing needs, communicating effectively, shifting structures, and building systems to enable successful growth.  Experience developing or contributing to multi-year financial strategies and administering budgets with diverse sources of revenue is strongly desired. Experience with land trusts in particular is not required, but is a definite plus. 

Previous experience and expertise working with a Board of Directors. The successful candidate will have worked with or served on a Board that prioritizes building a constructive partnership between the Executive Director and the Board, and ideally have knowledge of best practices in governance. 

In sum, we seek a visionary leader and strategic organizational thinker. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate aptitude at working in partnership with the Board and staff to identify promising opportunities, make strategic decisions and trade-offs, and chart realistic paths to achieving ambitious goals. 

Joining our Team

This is a full-time salaried position working within a small non-profit office environment located in downtown Wenatchee. It requires a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and conduct occasional travel throughout the state of Washington and the greater Pacific Northwest region. 

The expected annual salary range is $100,000 - $115,000+, depending on qualifications and experience. A stipend to cover some relocation costs may be offered as needed.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is pleased to offer a competitive benefits package to its employees, including 100% employer-sponsored medical, dental, and vision plan for each employee, and an opportunity to participate in an employer-matched retirement savings plan. Employees earn up to 30 days of paid time off annually, generous paid sick leave, and paid family medical leave. 

Recognizing that our employees are best when they can take time to recharge, educate, and improve themselves, all full-time or regular part-time employees are eligible for a paid 2-month sabbatical leave after each seven consecutive years of employment.

How to Apply

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please describe as specifically as you can how your experience, interests, and values are a fit with Chelan-Douglas Land Trust goals, mission, and vision for the future as described in this announcement. 

Interviewing will begin in May; start date is flexible. Early applications are strongly encouraged!  All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Consideration will be given to applications as soon as they are received.  Questions regarding this opportunity are welcomed and can be directed to board member and search committee member Elizabeth Wilson at [email protected] or 206-200-0888.

CDLT is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, political ideology, age, veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or any other characteristic prohibited by law.